ASTLEY HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: The society sends sympathy to all the people who have suffered with serious flooding from the River Severn in their homes and businesses. A big thank you to all those who are helping with the Emergency Services and are on standby. The wet weather has affected our gardens and allotments.The ground is very wet and muddy, grass is still growing, buds are bursting and things seem to be 4-6 weeks early.

President Vic Powell opened the meeting and welcomed everyone and then handed over to Chairman Derek Walker. He presented his Annual Review and wished all the members present a Happy New Year. He explained that as we waved farewell to 2015 there had been the warmest December temperatures on record but he said that we do not know what the weather has in store for us and a cold January snap could cause damage to tender shoots. He was very pleased to report that 2015 had been a very successfiul year for Astley Horticultural Society.We had been pleased to welcome Hazel Rogers to our Committee. He thanked Chris Russell our Social Secretary for the time and effort spent organizing the interesting coach trips to Biddulph Grange, Little Moreton Hall, Stockton Bury Gardens and Brobury House. Our Annual Holiday to Harrogate was brilliant. We had visited Hardwick Hall home of Bess Of Hardwick, Studley Royal Water Gardens, Fountains Abbey, Castle Howard, Newby.Hall and Nostell Priory.We had also been spoilt as we also paid a special visit to the home and museum of James Herriott. It was tipping down with rain and we were glad that Steve our Johnson's coach driver took us as near as he could to the venue.We normally paddle in the sea but this year we made do with paddling in the park. The finale of this trip to Harrogate was when we all dressed up as pantomime characters. It was a real hoot to see some of the men dressed as ladies with "big boobs". Derek also thanked all the Committee for helping when we prepare the Room, Tables, Food and Raffle ready for the Monthly Meetings, Summer Social, Harvest Supper, American Supper & special Quiz night. Our thanks to Ross and Cathie Andrews who hosted the Quiz for us. this year. Many thanks to our members for bringing so much delicious food and donating great raffle prizes.

Astley Open Gardens Derek also thanked Roger And Chris Russell for organizing the Astley Open Gardens in 2015.There were 5 gardens in Astley Village participating and monies raised amounted to a splendid £3210. We are proud to say that Astley Country Gardens have now raised a total £15,260 for the NGS.

Show secretary Roger organizes the Spring Show, Annual Show and Autumn Show. exhibits and entries He was especially pleased with the extra Floral Art Exhibits. this year. He is also pleased that Astley CE Primary School staff and children who continue to be involved with their entries.


Mike Hughes has the Schedules for 2016 ready. with an exciting programme.Now is the time to renew your new membership. Astley Horticultural Society Committee are pleased to welcome new members.

Wednesday February 16 when the speaker will be Roger Umpleby BSc MPhil an avid biologist and professional entomologist from Evesham with his presentation "Butterflies in Britain".